The motor industry is on the cusp of change not seen since 1908 when the Ford Motor Company released the first affordable automobile. Henry Ford was famously quoted back then as saying “you can have it any colour as long as it’s black”, referring to the infamous Model T.
We’ve moved on a bit since then. And the next big thing is likely to be driverless vehicles - and they’ll be here sooner than you think!
It will mean a whole raft of changes to current laws, roading, infrastructure and licencing, so we best get prepared.
Google subsidiary Waymo and Tesla have been trialling driverless vehicles for some time now and between them have logged billions of miles testing self drive vehicles. According to Audi, the R8 is also capable of self driving.
For the commuting public, this will have huge implications on the way we will travel:
- Driverless vehicles would be able to talk to one another, travel faster, and have less road accidents (if any at all).
- Auckland traffic congestion could well become a thing of the past.
- Autonomous vehicles would be able to self park.
- People could be dropped off outside their workplace and picked up again at the press of a button
- Car ownership is set to change with ride sharing, as people do away with their cars and driverless vehicles are called up as needed and provide a new way of commuting.
- Reliance on fossil fuels would reduce.
- “Hypermiling” would maximise fuel efficiency through computer driven vehicles.
- Drafting (now called Platooning), acceleration and braking could be done more efficiently by removing the human factor.
While there’s been a spotlight placed on a fatal collision earlier this year involving a driverless vehicle, it has not changed the view of car makers, their technology partners or governments that autonomous vehicles have an important role to play in the future of transport.
For a self confessed “petrol head” like myself, there are even more implications. The roar of a V8 engine may well become a thing of the past and the classic vehicle market could sadly disappear in time.
Whether we like it or not, change is coming. But there’s still a bit of rubber to hit the road before this new technology becomes mainstream, so I'll be keeping an eye on this area and enjoying the roar of V8 engines in the meantime.
About the AuthorName: Kim Matthews
I’m the Leader Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Hawke’s Bay branch. I commenced my insurance career in 1980, have an insight in to how underwriters and assessors work and I’m a business owner myself - all great…
I’m the Leader Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Hawke’s Bay branch. I commenced my insurance career in 1980, have an insight in to how underwriters and assessors work and I’m a business owner myself - all great skills and experience that make me the broker I am.
I love dealing with people and I’m passionate about insurance!Close